Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Disappearance of Alicia Navarro


Alicia Navarro has been missing since September 2019. The young teen was just 14 years old at the time of her disappearance. She lived with her family in Glendale, Arizona and was a student at Bourgade Catholic High School. Alicia is described by her family members as a sweet and intelligent girl. Various reports state that Alicia is on the autism spectrum and struggles with social anxiety. Prior to her disappearance, Alicia preferred to spend her free time at home on her Xbox. She enjoyed gaming and was very active in the online gaming community. 

During the early morning hours of September 15th, 2019, Alicia left her house. She never returned, and her family has never seen or heard from her again. Alicia's mother Jessica Nuñez noticed that something was amiss around 7:00 AM. The back door to their house was opened, and chairs were stacked against their backyard fence. Jessica then went to check on Alicia but found her bedroom empty. A note was left behind that read "I ranaway [sic]. I will be back, I swear. I'm sorry." At that point, it became clear that Alicia snuck out of the house and had stacked the chairs against the fence so she could climb over it and exit the property. 

(source: crimescoop.org)

According to family members, running away is extremely out-of-character for Alicia. She reportedly preferred to follow a strict routine, which is common for people on the autism spectrum. Due to this, it seemed incredibly unusual for Alicia to leave on her own accord. Her mother told reporters that "in the past, [Alicia's] sweetness had been taken advantage of, and online predators had attempted to make contact with her." Alicia's family fears that this time around, an online predator was successful in grooming and luring Alicia into running away. 
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It has been difficult for investigators to track Alicia's online activity, as she brought both her laptop and cell phone with her when she left her home. There has not been any digital trace of her since she left.

Alicia and her family members got along well, and before vanishing, she never indicated that she was unhappy or wanted to leave. However, Alicia's mother Jessica noticed some changes in her daughter's behavior during the months leading up to her disappearance. Alicia had a new-found interest in comic books, classic rock, fitness, and protein powders--all things in which she had never previously shown interest. She also began using fragrances and makeup, which she never liked to use in the past due to her sensory issues and desire for strict routine. Alicia's family fears that these new interests were influenced by an online groomer. 

An article on Alicia's case from uncovered.com states that the last sighting of Alicia was reported on September 20th, 2019--five days after she ran away. The article says "someone who knew Alicia personally mentioned to her mother and investigators that the day before, on September 19th, they saw Alicia at La Pradera Park, a park approximately 1.5 miles away from her house. Multiple witnesses corroborated seeing a girl that looked like Alicia." Some of these witnesses mentioned that Alicia was seen walking with a black man with several visible tattoos on his hands, neck, and face. There have not been any other confirmed sightings of Alicia since the early days of her disappearance. 

Alicia's family members believe that she fully intended to return home. Although she brought her laptop and cell phone with her, she did not bring the chargers for either device. Alicia also did not bring any extra clothes. It has been theorized that a predator lured Alicia out under the guise of gaming together, and said predator forced her into sex trafficking or harmed her in some other way. 

Alicia remains missing today. The FBI is involved in the search. If you have any information that could lead to Alicia's whereabouts, please go here to submit a tip. 
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